More than 200 people, veterans and civilians, joined in a long overdue ceremony at MetraPark on Wednesday. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus made a trip to Billings to officially declare the designations of two U.S. Naval submarines: The USS Montana and the USS Billings.

The fleet has been due a USS Montana for decades. In 1920, the USS Montana was laid down, but was ultimately cancelled and scrapped in 1923. Another USS Montana was set to be the lead ship of the Montana Class battleship, but that entire class was cancelled in 1943.

Now, more than 70 years later, Montanans officially get the news that the USS Montana and USS Billings have been commissioned and will join the fleet in a few years. These littoral combat will serve our nation's fleet for decades to come, according to Mabus.

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